Thursday, February 20, 2003

Review - The Rough Guide to the Music of Turkey

Artist: Various artists

Posted on Thu, Feb 20, 2003 at 4:00 AM

The 500-year reign of the Ottoman Empire was the most pervasive -- and progressive -- influence over Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the upper Arab peninsula. Though the dissolution of the empire and the resultant colonial redistricting of the region was a major destabilizing factor in the Middle East and Balkans, the cultural linkage established between the previously disparate groups is still very much alive. And nowhere is that culture collusion more apparent than in modern Turkey. As the hub of the Ottoman Empire, the country has been resolutely Muslim in tenor for centuries, yet has consistently absorbed the effects of being an object of European affection. The result is a modern, culturally rich land, where old ideologies are deftly merged with the pace of progress. This 15-track collection of newer Turkish music illustrates this, via a diverse mix of songs that range from traditional gypsy ballads to a modern interpretation on the music of the whirling dervishes. All of the songs -- even the most pop-oriented ones from artists like Sezen Aksu -- display the unmistakable strains of centuries of hardwired musical history, heard in both the instrumentation and in the construction of the music itself. So, yeah, you get some rock and you get some pop and you get some jazzy improvisation, but they all sound equally comfortable among belly-dancing tracks. Though Turkish guitar god Erkin Koray is sadly unrepresented, this is yet another installment in the **Rough Guide** series that does more for cultural enlightenment in 70 minutes than any amount of history research could.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 27, 2020

View more issues


© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation